McKays in Moray


Hello all.  Some years back, with Scotland’s People,, and some other sources, I attempted to find my McKay family roots, in Scotland, Ireland, or wherever the facts would take me. I never joined Ancestry, as money was tight at the time, but I did have some success.

John McKay is my 2nd great gf. I tracked him from New York, back to Canada, and ultimately Drainie, Morayshire. He appears in 2 Censuses, 1851 and 1861. In 1861, living on Ardgye Farm, his family is as follows:

William, head, 39
Margaret (maiden name Cobban), wife, 40
John, 12
Margaret, 9
Alexander, 7
Elizabeth, 4
William, 1

I have a William McKay, presumably my 3rd great gf, born in 1821 in Knockbain, Ross Shire. A birth record for 4 July lists a William born to Alexander and Margaret Simpson. If these are in fact my 4th great g parents, I have them being married 17 April, 1806 in Urquhart, with another son Alexander, born in 1816. That is all the documentation I was able to find, and that is as far back as I have been able to take the McKays.

I did find a Margaret Cobban b 1817 in New Spynie, Moray, to John and Elizabeth Cooper. My Margaret gave the name Cooper to her daughter Elizabeth as a middle name, so I made the leap of faith that this was her, which lead me to a Cobban branch in New Spynie going back to the 1700’s - thanks to the previous genealogical work of others.

What I would be interested in knowing is if I have traced my 3rd great gf William correctly, and, if so, if it is possible to take the McKays back further, to William's parents, etc.

And I would like to know the fate of my 2nd great gf John’s siblings - Margaret, Alexander, etc. I couldn’t find any promising McKays in Scotland in 1871 or 1881. Did all emigrate? If so, where to? Only my John appears to have made it to Canada.

And if anyone wants to disprove my Margaret Cobban being on this deep-rooted Cobban branch, I suppose I would welcome that too.

If there are any knowledgeable, resourceful people out there better at this than I am, I would appreciate any insights you can provide.

John Mackay, Chicago USA.

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